Beazley Reports 25% Rise in Profit as Loss Claims Fall

Beazley Plc (BEZ)’s shares gained the most in five years after the Lloyd’s of London insurer reported a 25 percent rise in full-year profit and paid a special dividend.

Beazley increased as much as 8.3 percent, its biggest intraday rise since January 2009 and was up 14.7 pence to 268.1 pence at 8:56 a.m. in London trading. The Dublin-based group posted pretax profit of $313.3 million for 2013, compared with $251.2 million in the year-earlier period, in a statement today.

Beazley said its combined ratio, or claims and expenses as a percentage of premiums, declined to 84 percent from 91 percent as the company had fewer claims relating to natural disasters. It paid a second interim dividend of 5.9 pence a share, taking total payouts for the year to 8.8 pence plus a special dividend of 16.1 pence.

“It was a quiet year for catastrophe losses,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Horton said in the statement. “The business lines that are not exposed to catastrophes also performed excellently.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kiel Porter in London at kporter17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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